Grief Groupie

Edited to add: Actually, hold off for a bit on linking to me. As Julia pointed out, I don’t know if she’ll go looking again. I’m hoping that if I just post that I’m not blogging anymore, she’ll just stop reading and leave me alone.

Tell me. If you knew a mom whose baby died at birth, and who was currently pregnant again, do you think she would want to receive daily emails from you about the results of your random Google searches, or the medical journals to which she obviously also has access? Would you email her about a panda who miscarried because of progesterone deficiency and suggest that she show it to her doctor? Would you send her 25 years worth of conflicting articles about the success of cerclages? Would you email an article positing that eating 300 mg of fish (or some number, I forget exactly since I don’t actually eat fish – don’t take any of this crap as advice) a day will prevent preterm labor, followed up immediately by an article that suggests eating that exact same amount of fish will cause autism? Would you see that she mentions her family’s history of neural tube defects and send her study after study about how she needs to be on 4mg of folic acid a day even after she tells you she’s been on folic acid for over 18 months? Would you then send her an article about parents who choose to terminate their fetuses with spina bifida? If she mentions the word depression on her blog, would you then load her up with articles about anti-depressants and pregnancy? Would you send her gifts, including vitamins not approved for use by her doctor?

And would you continue to do these things for months, long after the mom tells you she doesn’t need the help, and even after she stops responding or acknowledging you in any way? And would you do this 6, 7, 8 times a day? And would you have started to do them when you’re not a parent yourself and you’ve actually only ever spoken to that mom once in your life prior to her loss of her son? And how did you find her blog anyway?

So that’s the story. That and the feeling that some real life readers are doing so more as voyeurs than friends. I guess the mostly anonymous blog argument won.

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10 responses to “Grief Groupie

  1. Sara- That is positively the most bizarre thing I have heard recently!! I can’t believe this is someone you have actually met, and not just some cyber-nut. She/he sounds like a real life nut!! Are you changing your email too, so she/he can’t keep up this harassment? What on earth is their motivation?? Are you at all nervous about this person?

  2. Oh my, what a crazy person. I did think of something though. Can you block her IP address from this blog? Just because that way her computer will block this site if she ever did accidentally stumble on it.

    Sorry about the voyeur thing. I worry about that as well sometimes with a few of my political readers who never comment.

    I’m never quite sure what the point is. Do they feel empathy but are tongue-tied? Do they think I’m a trainwreck? Or are they just strange?

    Oh, and don’t worry about changing your email. Simple solution is just to block her email address. (It’s in gmail contacts then settings) You’ll never have to get another crazy email and she can’t bug you.

  3. Ugh! I’m sorry this nutt was hounding you. If you cannot write what you want, there is really no point in having a blog. I wish you success at this new “location”. I’ll be stopping by but I won’t link to you until you give the clear.

  4. Thanks all. I have to think about the IP address, because she’s attached to my university, and hence could be originating from many different IP addresses depending on where she is at the moment. For the same reason I can’t change my email address – she’s using my university email! Not any gmail ones. She sends me so many messages, actually, that my spam filter is starting to block them.

    Lori – I’ve considered whether I ought to be nervous. I’m not really frightened by her, although I’ll take great pains to avoid her from now on. If, even after she stops being able to get inspiration for her messages from my blog, she continues this campaign, I may take some measures more than this. I just feel bad because she’s a terribly lonely and socially ostracized person already. I have annoying visions of her wanting to touch or hold the new baby when s/he arrives if we run into each other somewhere and I’m not excited about that. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there though. It’s a good sign though that I can at least have fears about after the baby arrives?

  5. I would at least strongly consider taking some further measures if this continues. Some states have anti-stalking laws, your university probably has some kind of regulation or policy on the issue, and, in any case, this kind of bizarre harrassment is something you shouldn’t have to put up with.

    You could report it to the university (printing out the emails to show them), so that someone in a position of authority (assuming she’s affiliated with the university) could do something about it. I know you say you’re not really frightened, but lots of people like this, if they feel their overtures are being rejected, become even worse.

    This really makes me worry about you.

  6. Thanks, Niobe. I will definitely take further action. Another friend who reads my blog just emailed me that she emailed her a long message in response to a comment she made on my blog, and they’ve never even met in real life. Please, let me know if you’ve gotten any emails from a Gw.ynne, and don’t respond to her if you have.

    Yikes. She’s probably just a lonely person who’ll go away when ignored but I’ll certainly be vigilant.

  7. that is truly bizarre. I am sorry! I hope that this new blog works out for you, and she leaves you alone.

  8. That’s who I thought it was. Some of her comments on your original blog were truly bizarre. Sorry you have to deal with that.

    Yeah, good sign about the future worry. I am not even pregnant, and I am already worried about whether I will be able to let my MIL anywhere near my next child, so I kinda get this.

    Good luck again.

  9. OK…I’m sorry to say it…but I laughed out loud reading about the things she has sent you. What a nut! I think I’d have a good “talk” with her…but I’ve got some pregnancy hostility to work out. :o)

  10. Don’t worry about laughing, Catherine. Individually they are pretty damn funny! But like I used to tell my kindergarteners when I taught, most things are only funny the first few times we hear them.

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